During the period between Telltale Games’ closure and revival under LCG Entertainment, we saw a few games try to copy its adventure game style without much success (like the mediocre sequel to Tales from the Borderlands). Thankfully, with help from the developer of Life Is Strange: True Colors Deck Nine, Telltale is back with its first episodic adventure game since 2019’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season in the form of The Expanse: a revealing series. It serves as a prequel to hit TV series Syfy and Prime Video and is a great start to a new era for the studio.
What’s most remarkable about The Expanse: A Telltale Series Episode 1 is how immediately it feels like a good Telltale Games product. You’re quickly in the thick of things playing as Carmina Drummer (again voiced by Cara Gee), making dialogue choices, and getting to know your teammates on a salvage ship. The good thing is that Deck Nine doesn’t fall into the trap of many later Telltale Games titles of looking like they’re playing themselves. You actually have to move Carmina from area to area in order to advance the plot, giving you a good chance of feeling like you’re inside the world and can explore at your leisure. , which is surely a delight for the fans. from the science fiction series.
Being in space makes it all the more interesting to explore both inside and outside the walls of the ship. You are able to take advantage of the lack of gravity and climb walls, where many well-hidden salvage pieces have been placed. In the first episode, the player plunders a ship that has already been attacked by pirates, and the real highlight is the sense of exploration. Each room is filled with transmissions, data logs, and items to find. Like an old-school adventure game, you’ll get the most out of the experience as you look around. You can also use thrusters to fly around the different parts of the ship, which provides a refreshing feeling of mobility.
Given that The Expanse: A Telltale Series is the studio’s first real foray, it’s only fitting that you can experience every feature from the developer. Big decisions, complete with reminders that your relationship with a character has changed? Of course. Quick events to determine if you make it through a few action scenes unscathed? You got it. Well-written verbal exchanges and compelling characters? Everything is here. It was really easy to be skeptical of the return of the Telltale brand, but The Expanse definitely deserves it. If you don’t follow gaming news, you would never have guessed that so much drama had happened since the studio’s heyday of releasing 3-4 games a year.
The first episode, titled “Archer’s Paradox”, is a bit slow to get started, but it makes sense as an introduction. There’s not much action here until the end of the episode, but the sense of danger and fear you get while exploring the attacked ship largely makes up for it. While I wish there were more substantial choices to make (there are really only two major ones), that will likely increase as episodes are released every two weeks.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series Episode 1 is a great start for the series and this iteration from Telltale Games. Fans of the series will appreciate hearing more about Drummer’s backstory, and Cara Gee delivers a solid performance that lives up to expectations. Subsequent installments will determine whether the story is able to deliver on its promising start, but the production quality and polish is clearly an improvement over previous Telltale titles.
Feels true to the feel of the series
Exploring spaceships is great fun
Some choices are made
Disclaimer: Our review of The Expanse: A Telltale Series Episode 1 is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Revised on version 1.000.001.